Patriot Ride through Harford Saturday will honor 9/11 victims, heroes

Motorcycle riders will take to the highways of northern and central Harford County this Saturday, Sept. 8, for the Patriot Ride in remembrance of the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Patriot Ride 2012 will help raise money for the Flight 93 Memorial in Pennsylvania, according to Chuck Ritz, the founder of the event.

Riders will gather at Chesapeake Harley Davidson in Darlington at 8 a.m. and will take part in six moments of silence beginning at 8:46 am, the time that American Airlines Fight 11 crashed into the North tower of the World Trade Center in New York City.

Other activities at the start will include the Pledge of Allegiance, led by area firefighters, and the playing of the "Star Spangled Banner."

Riders will depart at 11:30 a.m. along with Honorary Ride Captain Kenny Nacke, whose older brother, Joseph Nacke III, was a passenger on United Flight 93, which crashed in Shanksville, Pa. Kenny Nacke is a detective with the Baltimore County Police Department.

The ride will travel south on Route 1 through Harford County to Fallston, where it will make a right onto Route 147 (Harford Road). Riders will then travel south into Baltimore County, ending on Putty Hill Avenue in Parkville, where they will ride through the Path of Honor - 2,977 American flags set to honor each and every victim and hero of 9/11.

The Path of Honor will be along Putty Hill Avenue between Harford and Old Harford roads, with the ride ending at McAvoy's at 2531 Putty Hill Ave. Ritz said the flags will be put in place Friday morning.

Ritz, a Cockeysville resident and an avid biker who works for the Baltimore Child Abuse Center, said Saturday's Patriot Ride is an outgrowth of the former Ride to Remember out of Baltimore.

"I felt that the 11th anniversary of 9/11 is just as important as the 10th or any other, which is why I decided to organize this, keeping the promise of never forgetting," said Ritz, who also rode in last year's America's 9/11 Ride, an annual event in August which comes through Harford County on I-95.

Ritz said he has worked for a year on the Patriot Ride program and expects between 400 and 600 motorcyclists to participate, possibly more.

"We've had a great response so far," he said. "I'm keeping my figures crossed the weather is good."

Ritz encourages area residents to come out in support of the riders along the ride route from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and join the group in helping keep the promise of Never Forgetting 9/11.

Event proceeds also benefit the Metro Burn Fund. Registration fees, event schedules and other information are available online at or e-mail

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